While Niseko is most famous for wintertime ski and snowboarding, it is an all season resort with a variety of summertime activities, the most popular of which is river rafting. In fact, rafting is Niseko’s second most popular activity next to skiing, and it’s actually popular to go even in the middle of winter! The Niseko Outdoor Adventure and Sports Club (NOASC) offers a variety of full service rafting tours year round. Rafting is most popular though in April, when the weather starts to warm up and the melting snow brings the usually tame Shiribetsu river up to Grade 3 and sometimes even Grade 4 rapids. Although the water is still icy cold at this time of year you’ll be suited up in a sealed drysuit, so you can stay warm and comfortable even in the most exciting stretches of whitewater. NOASC rafting tours start just a short bus ride from Hirafu village in the heart of Niseko. After a short introductory lesson you’ll start out on a calm stretch of water for practice before getting to the main river and the real fun. The main course is about 12 km long and features a variety of water conditions. The summer/winter course is a bit tamer as the water levels are lower, so the focus is more on cruising and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The guides are all very experienced, licensed whitewater guides, and work very hard to make the experience fun. They all obviously love their jobs, and who wouldn’t, spending their days in such a beautiful natural setting! Depending on the experience level and mood of your group the guides will customize the course somewhat, setting up opportunities for photo shoots and so on. Overconfident, mouthy passengers can expect to get wet and maybe even find themselves going for a swim! Prices range from around 5,000 to 8,000 per person depending on the course and season. Contact NOASC for more details and availability.
Hokkaidō, Abuta-gun, Kutchan-chō, Yamada, ２０−６ 044-0081